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Ambitious £5m expansion plan for air ambulance airport base to be unveiled next week

PUBLISHED: 20:35 15 May 2019

East Anglian Air Ambulance is hoping to expand its headquarters at Norwich Airport. Pictured: Sir David Jason visiting the base in 2008. Picture: Simon Finlay

East Anglian Air Ambulance is hoping to expand its headquarters at Norwich Airport. Pictured: Sir David Jason visiting the base in 2008. Picture: Simon Finlay

Archant © 2008

Ambitious plans to expand the airport base of the East Anglian Air Ambulance will be unveiled next week.

The Rt Revd Graham James, former Bishop of Norwich performing a blessing at the East Anglian Air Ambulance's headquarters, which it is hoping to expand Photo: Steve AdamsThe Rt Revd Graham James, former Bishop of Norwich performing a blessing at the East Anglian Air Ambulance's headquarters, which it is hoping to expand Photo: Steve Adams

In February, the East Anglian Air Ambulance revealed the aspiration to become an all-hours service by 2020, allowing it to swoop to the aid of those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As part of this, the charity plans to upgrade and expand its current base at Norwich International Airport, in a project expected to cost around £5m.

If the plan gets the all clear, it will see parts of the charity's airport hangar demolished and replaced with a larger one, creating opportunities to expand the activity it can provide.

This would mean that as well as housing the crucial service, the crews would be able to provide first aid training on site.

The expansion is also planning to provide rest and welfare facilities for crews, conference space and a generally larger space to operate from.

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Nicki Blake, marketing and communications manager at EAAA said: "The new facilities would be a massive part of our vision to increase our services and reduce the impact of trauma on the region.

"At the moment we are very squashed in at our base but to achieve our ambition to provide 24/7 service we would need more crews so with this we will need more space.

"A 24/7 service would allow us to attend hundreds of more missions and therefore provide hundreds of people with the life-saving care they need - day or night should not dictate the level of emergency care people receive in their hour of need."

Currently, the charity offers a life-saving service 365 days of the year - but not around the clock, with crews out of action between midnight and 7am.

If all goes to plan, work could begin at the end of the year, with the new facilities completed by the end of 2020.

The charity is currently in the process of arranging alternative accommodation at the airport for the duration of works and its services will not be disrupted in this time.

The visions will be put on display on Wednesday, May 22 from 2pm until 7.30pm at Hangar 14 of the airport, where members of the public can express their views and ask any questions.

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